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Ideas & Innovations: Redefining Retail's Digital Strategy

CIO VendorJames Curtis, CEO
Today’s consumers use digital platforms for their shopping needs, to the extent retailers have started focusing on giving their customers a digital experience even in the stores. Simultaneously, there has also been a growth in self-service technologies with retailers wanting to address their customers from multiple touch points through advanced platforms. This need for acceleration of in-store self-service platforms and multi-point consumer contact solutions formed the foundation of Ideas & Innovations (I&I), where “digital innovation meets in-store consumers,” says Donnie Bottinelli, CMO of I&I. Through their unique kiosk technology, I&I enable retailers to give their customers a mix of next-generation products.

With its deep understanding of the dynamics of multi-point consumer interaction in the retail environment, I&I addresses the need in the space by providing retailers with single-source turnkey platforms. From the plethora of abilities that I&I’s applications can offer for retailers, John Laspia, CTO of I&I, highlights their patented gift-card kiosk platform, which provides a broad selection of open and closed loop gift cards. The secure, PCI-compliant application offers real-time purchase, reload, exchange, and eGift features. While the platform provides third-party gift card options, its exchange ability allows consumers to utilize or transfer balances left on older gift cards. A consumer gets an “instant activation” on all gift cards, and this approach is quick and secure via I&I’s retailer point-of-sale system (POS).

I&I’s proprietary advertising platform allows personal engagement for advertisers who can now reach their customers utilizing “non-invasive” triggering technologies.


Encompassing personalized in-store at the point of sale, and complimentary mobile options, the tool ensures availability of real consumer information in “real time” (unlike traditional “loop” advertising platforms). This advertising model can operate as a stand-alone platform for their retail clients or can be integrated with I&I’s existing kiosk platforms. Both the advertising and the gift card platforms are supported by primary category partners like Blackhawk Network (BHN) and PRN, a Stratacache company which manages ad activity.

Their self-service gift-card kiosk technology is the first to allow cash-based consumers easy access to digital platforms like gift cards, movies, music, gaming, and digital ticketing content. Advertising (via dedicated screens and pop-up locations on the navigational product screens) offers ad partners targeted ad placement and their retailer partners’ secondary revenue streams. This approach provides consumers with more options using existing intuitive shopping patterns but under a digital platform.

Through their partnerships with industry-leading ticketing engines, I&I offers retail OEM kiosk designs, which support ticketing in a consumer-personalized manner. The application enables booking for concerts, theatrical release movies and several major events. Another noteworthy application of the platform is entertainment on demand. For its broad selection of movies, music, gaming software, and books with new releases and continuous updates, the tool provides real-time purchase of both physical disc and digital streaming options, with credit, debit, and gift cards.

“Our retailers are excited that we provide them with a roadmap that addresses both their physical in-store customers and the customers that want to purchase in-store digitally. Our approach has been proactive to market opportunities, unlike the traditional reactive strategies,” adds James Curtis, CEO of I&I. By aligning themselves with more strategic partnerships, I&I believes in its approach of repackaging and enhancing existing technologies with newer ones instead of having to reinvent them. Customers can spend less time shopping and in an efficient way with the help of I&I’s advanced technology that responds to them in real time and in-store.
I&I will continue to use its innovative technologies to improve the shopping experiences of tomorrow's retail consumers today!